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BCLT Research Seminar - Global Translations of Dante’s Divine Comedy: From the Renaissance until Today - Wednesday 21st October, 4pm

BCLT Research Seminar - Global Translations of Dante’s Divine Comedy: From the Renaissance until Today - Jacob Blakesley (Leeds)

Wednesday 21st October 2020, 4pm-5.30pm, Online

Jacob will present some results from his ongoing monograph dedicated to the worldwide translations (and translators) of Dante’s Divine Comedy. In this talk, Jacob will explain why he chose a distant reading approach, and how this approach lends itself to the analysis of the several hundred complete translations of the Commedia. He will dig down into some of the literary traditions into which Dante has been translated, above all a couple of those which are entirely absent from English accounts. He will examine issues of censorship (whether religious or stylistic) as well as the problems in translating the titles of Dante’s canticles. Jacob will also take a look at some of the most interesting translations of the Commedia into dialects, in languages from Serbo-Croatian and Plattdeutsch to Basque, Catalan, and Galician. Finally, he will present some of the Dante translators whose life stories end up enmeshed in tragedies on a global scale, whether in death camps or in the Gulag.

Jacob Blakesley is Associate Professor in Comparative Literature and Literary Translation at the University of Leeds, and Co-Director of the Leeds Centre for Dante Studies. He is the author of two monographs: Modern Italian Poets: Translators of the Impossible (University of Toronto Press, 2014) and A Sociological Approach to Poetry Translation: Modern European Poet-Translators (Routledge, 2019).  His own poetry translations have appeared in various journals, including Stand, and in 2017-18 he held a US National Endowment for the Arts Literary Translation Fellowship.  He chairs the BCLA/BCLT John Dryden Translation Competition and co-edits the new monograph series Routledge Studies in Literary Translation.

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